Thursday, June 29, 2006
I was told by my cousin that her mom called her from Moncton and told her there was a letter to the editor from someone who supported me. The letter was printed last week. Thanks a lot to John Steeves from Sussex. I guess he reads this blog.
Democracy respects dissent
To The Editor:
If any single incident in recent years describes New Brunswick's dangerous slide away from democracy, it is probably the order on Monday to bar Charles LeBlanc from the provincial legislature and the legislative grounds.
I've only met Mr. LeBlanc once. But, like many New Brunswickers, I know enough about him to realize that he delights in being a "pain in the butt" to authority figures in the province.
However, despite his recent arrest at the Atlantica conference in Saint John, to the best of my knowledge, he has never been convicted on criminal charges for any of his activities . . . whether as a protestor or as author of his blog on the Internet.
Authority figures in this province (whether in government, on the staff of the legislature, or in the media) should remember that the reason we have a democratic form of government is because of people like Charles LeBlanc: people who don't kowtow to accepted standards of behaviour; people who argue with authority; people who, in the judgment of history, are even right.
If Charles LeBlanc has been abusing his right to protest at the legislature, he could have been arrested. Or the legislature staff could have asked the courts for a restraining order.
Instead, the staff issued a high-handed, and undoubtedly illegal, decree that makes a mockery of what most Canadians consider the proper rule of law. A decree which, in my opinion, would be more appropriate to keep order in places such as Zimbabwe, one of the old Iron Curtain nations, or maybe a Miramichi school bus.
Ever since, I have ban for life from the Legislature?
I have been a very busy ADHD political activist.
I have been so occupied that I haven’t blogged much about the people who made this very undemocratic decision.
I just had to confront Tom Mann because I have been told that his letter to the editor was in most Irving’s newspapers around this Province.
What does he know that I don’t?
I heard from some people that a few Union Employees took stress leave because of me.
What happened there?
Did these Government Unionizes workers ran inside the Union Hall crying that I stressed them? I didn't know the employees at the Legislature belongs to a Union.
Many questions and still no clear-cut answers.
I was suppose to meet with Kelly Lamrock at a undisclosed location but he never showed up.
So at noon, I met my partner in crime and her job is to be in the background and take pictures for my blog.
She does really good work.
Once inside the building, I met this very nice and polite secretary.
She told me that Tom Mann wasn’t around and if I wanted to set up a meeting?
I didn’t feel comfortable in asking for a meeting so I asked if there was someone I could talk to because the Union went out of their way to condemn me in a letter to the editor.
Do they wished that the poor be exterminated from the Legislature?
I know these are very harsh words but I need to chat with someone.
A woman came down and I chatted with me.
I told them that a former good friend of mine name Dorothy Dawson told me that Tom Mann was a nice guy.
I heard this from others also but I’m just following the paper trial and it leads me right in this building.
The nice women were a little concern of my partner taking pictures but they never said a word.
I didn’t know if these girls were afraid of me because if people ran inside the building crying that they were stressed out because of Charles LeBlanc!!!
Well. I can understand their side because they were face to face with a stranger and I can understand their point of view.
So I decided to show the girls that I had a sense of ha ha...
I told them that I had a blog and they should locate it on the internet.
I wanted to show them the short video of kung fu fighting.
I still think it’s funny.
After a couple of minutes, I decided to leave but before we left?
I asked for a drink of cold water.
Then suddenly, I heard someone running down the stairway.
I told the girl - Ok..Get ready!!!! This should be very interesting. The woman must have told someone that there's was a nut downstairs?
Sure enough a guy quickly ran in the office and he introduce himself as David Brown and he said that he was a lawyer.
At that moment, It didn’t hit me but I chatted with David in the pass while in Saint John.
He once ran for the NDP!!! Is the NDP behind this???
He quickly told the girl not to take pictures.
He asked her who she was?
I told David that it was nice to see a lawyer running down the stairs.
The girl is with me so don’t worry about it.
I told the Union Lawyer that I was following the paper trial and I wanted to know where Tom Mann got his stories?
The lawyer never said much and I even said- Why do I get involved in these issues anyway????
I wanted to show that I wasn’t upset or out of control.
I just wanted some answers from the Union Leader.
The lawyer never said much but he did show me the door.
I told him - Listen you might tell everyone after I leave that I’m just an idiot and should be ignore.
What do you want me to write once I get out of here?
He didn’t seem to care what I wrote so I guess this is the beginning of a confrontation with me and the Union.
A Union leader who speaks out against the poor must resign.
I left my email address so Tom Mann can email me so lets see what’s going to happen?
Just for the record? I’m using these pictures because they went out of their way to write a letter to all the Irving’s newspapers about me. So therefore I’m returning the favour.
To be fair, I was sent just the part he wrote about moi. Here's the whole column.
Daily Gleaner | Brent Taylor - As published on page C8 on June 27, 2006
Bloggers can take their messages too far
When they were popularized over a decade ago, Internet Web pages usually consisted of static, rather boring, billboards of information put up by companies, governments or other organizations. They acted like road signs or business cards - just sitting there.
Now, though, the World Wide Web has become much more dynamic. Web content can be updated instantly, by users who are sometimes on the move using wireless access.
No longer just the realm of big business and government, the Internet has become a popular vehicle for individuals, some of whom have now taken to creating online diaries, or Web logs, of their daily lives and observations.
These Web logs, or "blogs" for short, have been used by everyone from ordinary citizens to prominent public figures like politicians and entertainers. Local MP Andy Scott has a blog, although it has not been updated in almost a month. News reporters covering the 2006 federal election "blogged" while on the campaign trail. (Yes, blog has become a verb.)
In the United States, bloggers have played an increasingly important role in politics. Dan Rather's fall from grace at CBS, starting in 2004, was precipitated and maintained by bloggers, who tenaciously pursued the story of Rather's use of forged military records in attacking George W. Bush while the "legitimate" media ignored the story.
In Maine, earlier this year, blogger Lance Dutson was sued for defamation by the New York ad agency that holds the contract for the state's tourism campaign.
Dutson had exposed irregularities and shed light on some controversial subjects involving the ad agency and its relationship with the Maine Office of Tourism.
In May, after public pressure was brought to bear on the state government and the ad agency itself, the suit against Dutson was dropped.
Legitimate bloggers are fighting, and winning battles over their accreditation as true journalists.
Recently in California two bloggers won a court ruling confirming that they had as much right, under the First Amendment, to protect their confidential sources as did the print and broadcast media.
While some blogs are adding greatly to public discourse and forcing the mainstream media to keep up, the kook factor continues to rear its ugly head.
While serious bloggers go about their business with discipline and ethics, the kooks cast a pall over the whole medium.
Last week our legislature's administration committee had the unhappy task of banning a self-proclaimed blogger from the property of the assembly.
The directive from the sergeant-at-arms identified several grounds for the eviction, including the continued harassment of government employees at their workplace.
This "blogger" feels he has a right, as a journalist, to ply his craft - which apparently consists mostly of taking candid photos of politicians and private citizens and then posting them with accompanying commentary to his Web site - after some of the photos have been doctored and many of the articles laced with defamatory depictions and statements.
For instance, union representative Tom Mann wrote this newspaper last week defending the blogger's banishment, and was promptly termed a "bigot."
Similar libellous terms have been levelled against dozens of other New Brunswickers from all walks of life. There is no point in any of them suing this blogger, however, for he apparently has no assets and, therefore, nothing to lose.
Despite the kooks, blogging has become increasingly mainstream. In an effort to establish a set of principles to which legitimate bloggers would adhere, the Media Bloggers Association (MBA) was created to gather together those involved in the craft. The MBA adopted the following principles to be followed by its members: honesty, fairness, accuracy, transparency, accountability, trust, and, respect for the privacy of private citizens.
From a founding membership base of 22 blogs, the MBA has grown exponentially to now include 295 blogs, with new applications being received steadily.
To become a member of the MBA a blogger must, among other things, "have a demonstrated history of a serious commitment to blogging evidenced by blogging for more than several months, posting regularly and frequently, and writing posts of some reasonable level of quality."
The Fredericton blogger banned from the legislature would not even come close to meeting the standards set forth by the MBA.
He had previously applied for membership in the legislature's press gallery as a reporter.
The application was not approved, and rightly so.
As the phenomenon evolves the press gallery will, at some point, be presented with an application from a blogger that will be worthy of acceptance.
The MBA guidelines are a good start on what test ought to be applied to a blogger seeking to chronicle the political life of New Brunswick as a full member of the gallery.
Until then, both the legislature and its press gallery need not apologize for evicting harassers and disturbers. The MLAs, the public, and the employees themselves must have a safe and secure environment in which to come together to advance their legitimate causes and do the people's business.
Brent Taylor is a former C.O.R. MLA. He writes each Tuesday from Doaktown.
I just received this email....
I also was concerned if the talk show was returning in the fall.So I sent an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org Here was their response.
Thank you for your e-mail regarding Talk Of The Town on CFBC. Listener feedback is very important to us so I appreicate the time you took to send us the note.I want to assure you that we have not undertaken any decision that will the show does not return after it's usual summer break.Again, thanks for your e-mail.It's great hearing from someone who is obviously a big fan of the show.
Have a great summer!